Ring Of Honor Champion Jonathan Gresham made some waves when he declared that the next step in his goal to "bring honor and prestige" to the ROH World Title is to face All Elite Wrestling megastars and recent ROH Hall Of Fame inductees CM Punk and Bryan Danielson.
This news comes on the heels of Gresham's recent big victory at the PROGRESS Chapter 130 event, where he claimed the PROGRESS World Championship in a Title vs Title match versus the now-former PROGRESS Champion Cara Noir. The intrigue behind Gresham's victory comes from the fact that PROGRESS is a WWE-endorsed promotion, whereas ROH is now a subsidiary of Tony Khan and AEW after his purchase of the promotion at the beginning of March.
Gresham made his statements during an interview on the most recent WrestleTalk podcast. At ROH's last event before going on hiatus, Final Battle 2021, Gresham fought and defeated Jay Lethal to lay claim to the ROH World Title. While Bandido was originally the titleholder going into the event against Lethal, a positive COVID test forced him off the event and Gresham was slotted in, winning and becoming the "original" ROH World Champion. With both Gresham and Bandido laying claim to the ROH World Title, a unification match between Bandido's world title and the "original" title held by Grisham is scheduled for April 1 at the return event for ROH, Supercard of Honor. In the time leading up to that match, Gresham has had multiple successful defenses of the "original" ROH World Title against Impact Wrestling talent such as Chris Sabin, Steve Maclin and Josh Alexander, among others. Confident about his upcoming match versus Bandido, Gresham feels in his mind that the only real way to restore any sort of honor and prestige to the ROH World Title is to defend against two legendary ROH wrestlers in Punk and Danielson.
Danielson, apparently, has a mutual desire to face Gresham in the ring someday as well. The current AEW wrestler went on record in a December interview with Sports Illustrated, stating that Gresham is "one of the guys I want to wrestle...a great, great wrestler who could really make the [ROH] championship." Punk has yet to comment on the thought of facing Gresham, but there's little doubt that Punk's strikes and veteran savvy vs Gresham's overwhelming technical prowess would make for a fantastic match.
Gresham facing off with either Punk or Danielson or even both men would be a wrestling purist's dream, a bevy of holds, counter-holds, grappling, submissions and everything else you could ask for in a technical classic. With Khan's recent purchase of ROH still fresh in fans' minds and the upcoming Supercard of Honor event, there's intrigue abound concerning the direction of the company now that it's under the AEW umbrella, as well as who could be showing up at the event.
Gresham himself is a question mark, however, as he has enjoyed his time traveling around the world and defending the ROH World Title in many promotions, considering it a chance "to learn and get better and enjoy myself," it's not a given that he'll sign with AEW, ROH or both companies. That said, Punk and Bryan are adamant on helping to cultivate the next generation of professional wrestlers in AEW, and Gresham could find himself at the front of that pack if he decides to walk on through the "forbidden door."